Hidden Gems, Mundo Musique, Music, The Revue — June 23, 2014 at 8:30 am

Mundo Musique: moools, Japanese Garage Rock

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One of the great things about going to a festival or a concert early is that you never know who you will discover. Back in 2010 when Wolf Parade was in the midst of their final tour, the Montreal-based band stopped to play a hometown show to a soldout crowd. Opening for them was a band called moools, who were unknown to the vast majority of those in attendance, including my wife, our friends, and myself.

Two of the members got on stage first – the drummer and the bass player. The frontman/guitarist joined them shortly thereafter with his back to the audience. All we could see was his wild hair. Then the music kicked – a heavy drum kick and deep bass followed by the wale of the guitar. The frontman then turned around and started singing in a language that we did not comprehend. After the first three songs, our little party turned to one another and I asked, “They’re not singing in English are they?” Despite the language barrier, the mools put on a terrific show.

A little like The Black Keys, a bit like The White Stripes, and a lot like The Meat Puppets, the mools make gritty garage rock. Their songs are well crafted, even at times catchy. The music is raw yet fun. The thing is, the moools have been playing since 1997 – well before garage rock became popular. In some respects, they could be considered to be well ahead of their time. The band has also been able to carve out a decent niche following in Japan, which is saying something for mainstream Japanese music is dominated by American top-40, K-pop, and EDM.

Their live show, meanwhile, was intense with frontman and lead guitarist Yasuaki Sakai often flaring his hair while he hammered on his Gibson guitar. Sometimes he would face the audience and sometimes he could be banging against the speakers on the side of the stage. Masato Uchino (drums) and Mitshuhiro Ariizumi (bass) are the rhythm section, providing a cool, calm demeanor to Sakai’s outgoing personality. Sakai also interacted with the audience despite knowing very little English. He was humble and gracious, telling the audience this was the first time the band had been in Montreal and informing them that they had bought several T-shirts and CDs (I, of course, bought a T-shirt, which is among my favourites).

You can check out the moools’ discography on iTunes. A couple of clicks from live shows are also below. See what’s all the fuss is about and get to know the moools.

Website – http://www.moools.com/
Twitter – @moools

Cover photo by Vincent Cornelli, Brooklyn Vegan

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